Evidence points to murder-suicide for double death in Hotel 81 room

Evidence points to murder-suicide for double death in Hotel 81 room
PHOTO: The New Paper, YouTube screengrab

SINGAPORE - He was madly in love with her and would do anything to keep her for himself.

That included borrowing money from others to give to her, constantly texting her and even killing her if she cheated on him.

That was the extent of Indian national Chinnasamy Baskar and Indonesian Ruli Widyawati's "lopsided relationship", as described by State Coroner Marvin Bay yesterday.

He was delivering his findings into the deaths of Ms Ruli, 28, a domestic worker, and Mr Chinnasamy, 30, a construction worker, who were found dead in a Geylang hotel room on Feb 1.

He said that the couple had a relationship of about 2½ years. During this period, Mr Chinnasamy would borrow money to give to Ms Ruli.

For example, he borrowed $200 from a colleague in November last year, claiming that he loved Ms Ruli very much and would do anything for her.

He also bombarded her with text messages, telling her that he loved her and repeatedly asking for her to call him.

It showed Mr Chinnasamy's ardent and aggressive pursuit of Ms Ruli's attention and affection, said Mr Bay.


But Mr Chinnasamy had also told his colleagues that he would kill Ms Ruli if she cheated on him.

Mr Bay said that Mr Chinnasamy's employer was notified by Ms Ruli on two occasions last year of Mr Chinnasamy's threatening behaviour.

In particular, she asked the employer not to let her lover go to Indonesia during Chinese New Year as he had told her that he wanted to "kill her and her entire family".

The couple broke up on Jan 28, four days before they met and checked into a room at Hotel 81 Palace in Geylang.

When a hotel manager checked the room in the evening, it was in a state of disarray.

Blood was spattered everywhere and the bodies of the two guests were found in the bathroom.

Ms Ruli was covered in blood and lying in a supine, or face-up, position on the floor, motionless and with a towel placed over her body.

She was found to have died from a 12cm by 3cm deep incised wound to her neck, an injury that could not have been self-inflicted, Mr Bay said.

A kitchen knife with a 12cm blade was found at the scene.

Mr Chinnasamy had a ligature mark of hanging and some external injuries. Police found a handwritten note in his bag. A line read: "I kill you. I know everything."

The state coroner said the closed-circuit television footage revealed that no one entered or left the room other than the couple.

Mr Bay also said that Ms Ruli, who had worked in Singapore since 2011, did not exhibit any suicidal tendencies to her employers.

"The handphone records confirm the tumultuous and troubled relationship between Ms Ruli and Mr Chinnasamy," said Mr Bay.

"He had invested considerably - both emotionally and financially - in this relationship, going to the extent of borrowing from multiple individuals to provide for her."

The state coroner ruled that the evidence pointed to Mr Chinnasamy fatally stabbing Ms Ruli upon a likely confrontation before taking his own life.

"I therefore find Ms Ruli Widyawati to have been the victim of an unlawful killing and Mr Chinnsamy Basker to have ended his own life, after killing Ms Ruli, in an act of suicide."

This article was first published on Nov 4, 2015.
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